Although countries in Europe and Asia have had success with containing Covid-19 in recent months, the pandemic is accelerating in other parts of the world where governments have been less willing to impose strict social distancing restrictions.
It took about six months to reach 10 million cases after the virus first appeared in central China late last year, but just over six weeks for that number to double.
An analysis of data by AP up to 9 August showed the US, India and Brazil together accounted for nearly two-thirds of all reported infections since the world hit 15 million coronavirus cases on 22 July.
Health officials have suggested the actual number of people infected with the virus is much higher than the confirmed tally, due to testing limitations and asymptomatic cases - which could be as many as 40 per cent of all infections.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organisation’s director-general, said on Monday that the world was likely to reach 20 million registered cases and 750,000 deaths from Covid-19 this week.
However, the health chief noted there were “green shoots of hope” in the global fight against the pandemic, with a number of countries showing positive results with containing the virus.
“I know many of you are grieving and that this is a difficult moment for the world,” Dr Tedros said.
“But I want to be clear, there are green shoots of hope and no matter where a country, a region, a city or a town is – it’s never too late to turn the outbreak around.”
He noted New Zealand and Rwanda as two of the best performing countries during the pandemic, while also praising France and the UK, among others, for bringing major outbreaks of Covid-19 under control.
Mr Putin said one of his two adult daughters had already been inoculated with the vaccine, which he described as effective, but experts urged caution over a lack of publicly-available evidence backing the approval.
Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said there had been little detail so far about the Russian vaccine candidate.
“The bar is necessarily set very high for criteria that must be satisfied for approval after Phase 3 clinical trials” Mr Altmann said.
“The collateral damage from release of any vaccine that was less than safe and effective would exacerbate our current problems insurmountably.”
Additional reporting by agencies